Holly Willoughby’s full statement on This Morning
‘Hello good Morning. Josie, thank you for being here. Right, take a deep breath. First, are you okay? I hope so. It feels very strange to be here without Phil. And I imagine you may have felt the same way I did.
“Shaken, alarmed, disappointed, concerned for the well-being of people on all sides of what is going on and full of questions.
“You, me and all of us at This Morning gave our love and support to someone who wasn’t telling the truth, who acted in a way that they themselves felt they should resign from ITV and quit a career they loved. kept .
“That’s a lot to process. And it’s just as hard to see the toll it takes on their own mental health. I think what unites us all now is a desire to heal for the health and well-being of all.
“I hope that as we begin this new chapter and return to a place of warmth and magic that this show has in store for all of us, we can find strength in each other. And from the bottom of my heart, I can thank you for all your kind messages and thank you for being here this morning.
“Myself, Josie, Dermot, Alison, Craig and everyone who works on this show will continue to work hard every day to bring you the show we love.”
Holly Willoughby admitted today that she felt “shocked, distressed, abandoned and concerned” when she returned to This Morning following the uproar over the Phillip Schofield affair.
She said it “feels really strange indeed” to be on the show without Schofield, adding that the team “gave our love and support to someone who wasn’t telling the truth.”
Willoughby was back on the couch for the first time since Schofield’s departure on May 26 today as she made an emotional appearance alongside co-presenter Josie Gibson.
Minutes earlier, she had appeared in a video link on Lorraine before the show to talk about what was going on as the controversy continued after Schofield’s departure.
She returned after a two-week break following the departure of her former co-host and his subsequent revelation of an affair with a younger male ITV employee.
Willoughby and This Morning editor Martin Frizell had previously been photographed arriving separately at Television Center in White City ahead of the anticipated episode.
Her return to presenting duties alongside Gibson was confirmed at the end of Friday’s show, which was hosted by Alison Hammond and Dermot O’Leary.
Willoughby – who is said to be “nervous” – is expected to discuss the Schofield controversy on the show, telling viewers how difficult things have been behind the scenes.
But Schofield’s friends said he wouldn’t tune in to see Willoughby’s return to the bench as it would be too “triggering” for him, especially the credits.
It comes after Schofield said he “didn’t tell anyone” about his fling with his former This Morning colleague, confirming in a telling interview with BBC’s Amol Rajan that Willoughby “didn’t know”.
Similarly, in his interview with the Sun, the 61-year-old presenter apologized to Willoughby for lying to her about his relationship, saying: “I’ve lost my best friend.”
He added, “I let her (Holly) down. I missed that whole show. I disappointed the viewers.
Holly Willoughby tells This Morning today she feels “shocked, distressed, abandoned and worried” when she returned to the program after the Phillip Schofield affair made waves
Holly Willoughby emotionally appears next to co-presenter Josie Gibson and they share a hug
Holly Willoughby and co-host Josie Gibson hold hands today on This Morning
Holly Willoughby appears in a video link on Lorraine today for the show with Josie Gibson
“Holly didn’t know (about the affair) and she was one of the first texts I sent, to say, ‘I’m so sorry, so I lied to you.’
“She didn’t answer and I understand why she didn’t answer either. So yeah, if anyone links Holly to this in any way, it’s – absolutely, not true at all.’
The duo, who have co-presented the show since 2009 and also co-presented Dancing On Ice before Schofield resigned from ITV, had been open about their close friendship over the years.
Willoughby’s return comes as the ITV show has been plagued with ‘toxicity’ allegations, including from former This Morning presenter Eamonn Holmes who claimed there was a ‘total cover-up’ over the Schofield affair.
The show’s former family doctor, Dr. Ranj Singh, also fell for a “toxic” culture and said he raised concerns about “bullying and discrimination” when he worked there two years ago and then felt he had been “managed” for whistleblowing.
Holly Willoughby arrives this morning to film This Morning at Television Center in White City
TV presenter Phillip Schofield spoke to the BBC’s Amol Rajan about his affair last week
Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby on the couch of ITV’s This Morning last month, on May 11
Phillip Schofield with his wife Stephanie Lowe and daughters Molly and Ruby in London in 2018
In a letter from ITV boss Dame Carolyn McCall to parliament on Wednesday, she said an external review carried out following a complaint from Dr. Ranj found “no evidence of bullying or discrimination.”
Meanwhile, former This Morning news head Emily Maddick, who worked on the show from September to December 2019, claimed she left the program due to “bullying, sexism and a toxic culture of fear and harassment.”
On Saturday, This Morning editor Frizell told a Sky News reporter to read between the lines amid claims of toxicity, adding: “I think some scores are being settled.”
Dame Carolyn was summoned before a parliamentary committee on 14 June to answer questions about the broadcaster’s approach to protection and complaints handling following Schofield’s departure.
On Wednesday, she confirmed that the broadcaster had instructed Blackstone Chambers’ lawyer Jane Mulcahy KC to carry out an external inquiry into the facts.